In this startup growth list, you’ll find 10+ books, blog posts, and videos that are highly referenced amongst entrepreneurs in the industry and considered some of the best resources out there for startup growth and marketing.

My goal with this list was to be fairly comprehensive and cover growth as it applies to everything from the very earliest days of a startup to the point at which a startup enters a mid stage growth phase.

In this list there are valuable learnings from Marc Andreessen, Paul Graham, Steve Blank, Sean Ellis, Brian Balfour, Elad Gil and more — if there’s…


In the blockchain world, 2017 was marked by a meteoric rise of protocol tokens — digital assets that act like the arcade tokens fueling decentralized networks.

Thousands of decentralized token-powered protocols arose, many with their own public token sales or “initial coin offerings” (ICOs). And this brought many more consumers into the digital currency space.

Blockchain tokens may be the future, but we’re in the very early days and we have many best practices to define and a lot to learn.

This post is about learning from the history of tokens and how we can get the distribution and the…


This is a post about tokens and decentralized applications and how they can work well together. We’ll explore decentralized apps, decentralized app protocols, and how tokens can enable new possibilities for these protocols.

Decentralized Apps as Public Internet Utilities

I like to think of decentralized apps or decentralized app protocols as public internet utilities.

We have lots of centralized applications on the internet today like Facebook, Google and Twitter, but we also have certain applications that are protocols or collections of applications, like e-mail.

Email has an underlying protocol called SMTP. And it has many different pieces of software that operate on this same protocol. …


Blockchains, cryptocurrencies and crypto systems have surged in awareness and interest in the past year. This article’s goal is to take a deep dive into the momentum and visibility of several of these crypto systems and provide some benchmark for future reference.

Here, I’ve chosen to focus on 6 crypto systems: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Zcash, IPFS/Filecoin, Blockstack. And I’ve chosen 4 metrics: web traffic, twitter followers, search results, GitHub stars & forks, and paper citations.

Please keep in mind the following:

  1. For this article I’ve chosen to focus on awareness or “vanity” metrics only.
  2. In a follow-up article I will…


The internet of the future is still unwritten. There are warning signs it’s driving towards further centralization, and flickers of hope that a new wave of decentralization is about to take hold.

How will we know which version of the future we’re headed towards? Is one destined to win?

Initial Conditions and Chaotic Systems

Chaos theory teaches us that slight differences in initial conditions can lead to wildly different outcomes. And systems that have this property, where they are highly sensitive to initial conditions, are known as complex chaotic systems. Weather is one chaotic system and human history is another.

Today’s internet is a part…


How it stacks up against Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash & Tezos

At Blockstack, we’re thinking very hard about crypto-economic system design, particularly as we approach the release of our own mining system and token sale for the Blockstack network.

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash and Tezos have been the networks that we’ve studied most extensively, given that they are truly independent systems with differentiating factors, strong teams, and very promising market opportunities.

Beyond these three, Filecoin particularly intrigued us as we see it shares the aforementioned properties as well. …


There’s an entire industry emerging around decentralized applications. The buzz is all around and yet it’s pretty clear that it’s really early on in the industry’s evolution.

At Blockstack we don’t expect decentralized applications to go mainstream this year, and that’s OK. Anyone who has claimed otherwise previously was getting ahead of themselves. There’s a lot of infrastructure yet to be built and there are quite a few user experience challenges that the development community needs to tackle.

The 2017 and 2018 users are early adopters. They are more forgiving of the user experience, more interested in having their data…


If you’re in the Bitcoin community, you probably know of Segregated Witness as (a) a fix to transaction malleability and (b) a boost to the number of transactions that can be included in each block.

If you’re not in the Bitcoin community, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about and this article probably isn’t for you. Sorry :/

Anyway, “Segregated Witness” or “SegWit” is a Swiss army knife in terms of benefits. It leads to improvements on so many levels it’s actually surprising. It’s really, really good. So good that it’s worth listing out all of the benefits.


A visualization of the phylogenetic tree of life

This is a response to Decentralized, Self-Organizing Systems by Fred Wilson.

Complex adaptive systems are comprised of many independent agents competing over resources, where all agents have varying strategies, have the capacity for adaptation, and are subject to naturally selective pressures. These systems are evolutionary, self-organizing, and decentralized. The more fierce the competition, the higher the rate of experimentation and birth and death, and the greater the capacity for mutation and adaptation of the individual agents, the greater the resiliency, anti-fragility, and impact of the overall system. What works well spreads, what doesn’t work well dissolves away.

Perhaps the most…


Drop the New Year’s Resolution. That’s right, drop it and start doing resolutions every month.

It’ll result in not only a higher number of improvements to your life but also higher adherence rates and thus a higher overall impact.

Why Monthly?

New Year’s Resolutions come around only once a year, by definition. In theory, a new year is a great period of time upon which you can reflect as well as a great period of time to plan for.

In practice, though, making commitments and holding yourself to them for an entire year is essentially setting yourself up for failure. And at…

Ryan Shea

Co-founder of Blockstack

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